TYPE: Light business jet.

PROGRAMME: Development began June 1999 and announced March 2000; 22 per cent scale model wind tunnel testing undertaken March to April 2000; preliminary design review completed September 2000; full-size mockup displayed at EAA AirVenture 2000 and NBAA 2000. Third round of wind tunnel tests completed January 2001 and critical design review began May 2001; transfer of engineering and certification responsibility from Williams completed July 2001. Designed 3.43 kN (770 lb st) Williams EJ-22 engine first flown in Rockwell Sabreliner 60 testbed (N15HF) 30 May 2002. Prototype (c/n 500-100/N500EA) rolled out 13 July 2002; first flight 26 August 2002, but no further flights reported by mid-November when Eclipse announced abandonment of Williams engine; selection of Pratt & Whitney Canada announced 19 February 2003. Eight test airframes will be used in the development and certification programme, dedicated as follows; c/n 500-100: low-speed envelope handling qualities including airspeed calibration, stall characteristics, longitudinal stability and control, plus trim, flap and landing gear operation; c/n 500-101: flight controls, flight handling characteristics, flutter, flight loads, ice protection, windows and windscreens; c/n 500-102: standard oxygen system, fuel system, landing gear, engine controls, power plant installation, lighting, pressurisation, environmental control system, electrical system; c/n 500-103: Pt 135 oxygen system, fire protection, air data system, avionics, noise emissions; c/ns 500-104 and 500-105; static structural and fatigue test airframes; c/ns 500-106 and 500-107: 'beta' airframes, completed to full production configuration, each to be employed on a 1,000-hour performance and durability trial before first customer deliveries, and will continue to be operated by the manufacturer on intensive post-service entry evaluation and problem-solving trials. Pending availability of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F, the prototype resumed flight testing on 15 May 2003 with two 4.48 kN (1,000 lb st) Teledyne CAE F408-CA-400 turbofans. First flight with PW610Fs is expected before the end of 2004. The first four aircraft will accumulate some 1,000 flight hours during the test programme, leading to FAR Pt23 plus take-off and landing to Pt 25 standard, with target date of first quarter 2006, followed by JAA JAR 23 approval later in the year.

CUSTOMERS: Total of 1,357 firm orders and 715 options held by 9 September 2002, of which 530 were from individuals, from customers in the USA, Europe and South America. Announced customers include Aviace AG of Switzerland, which ordered 112 on 28 May 2002 for its private jet club fractional ownership scheme. A provisional order for 1,000 aircraft placed by Nimbus Group on 31 August 2001 subsequently lapsed in July 2002.

COSTS: Development programme US$350 million (estimated). Unit cost US$950,000-US$975,000 for pre-2003 orders, US$1.175 million thereafter (2003).

DESIGN FEATURES: Designed to fulfil goals of NASA's Small Air Transportation System programme. Friction stir welding to be used for first time on high-volume production, obviating need for large numbers of rivets and reducing weight of finished article. Unswept, low-mounted wing and T-tail. Redesign work undertaken during 2001 included increasing the size of the horizontal engine pylons, modifying the rear fuselage to improve engine intake airflow and modifications to wingroot share, wing placement (moved aft 9 cm (3½ in)) and redesigned tail. Airframe modifications that will result from installation of the PW610Fs will include moving the engine mounts forward by 0.24 m (9&frac;12 in), strengthening the wing spar, moving the vapour-cycle machine from the wingroot fairing to the nose, modifying the flaps to increase Fowler effect, and addition of small tip tanks to accommodate the additional fuel needed to meet range guarantees.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Sidestick controller. Electrically actuated Fowler flaps and split tailcone speedbrakes.

STRUCTURE: Principally of aluminium; sharply tapered rear fuselage means distance between engine centres will be 1.04 m (3 ft 5 in).

LANDING GEAR: Retractable tricycle type with trailing-link main gear designed by Cal-Draulics. Cleveland wheels and brakes with Michelin radial tyres fitted for improved rough-field operations.

POWER PLANT: Two pod-mounted Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofans, each rated at 4.00 kN (900 lb st) at ISA+10°C, with FADEC. Full capacity 871 litres (230 US gallons; 191.5 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and up to five passengers; dual sidestick controllers for pilot(s); cabin laid out in club format. Polarised windows throughout; door on port side of cabin behind flight deck. Optional lavatory. Horizontally split door on port side, behind pilots.

SYSTEMS: Pressurisation system maintained sea level cabin environment to 6,533 m (21,500 ft) and 2,440 (8,000 ft) cabin at 12,500 m (41,000 ft) altitude. Pneumatic de-icing system for wing and tailplane leading-edges, bleed anti-icing for engine inlet, and electrically heated windscreen and air system probes. Lighting system by DeVore Aviation.

AVIONICS: Avio intelligent flight system, developed in conjunction with Avidyne, BAE Systems and General Dynamics; features all-glass, three-screen, fully IFR cockpit with two PFDs and one MFD. Avionics suite includes dual three-axis autopilots; FMS; autothrottle aircraft performance computer; colour weather radar; traffic information services; ADS-B; TAWS-B; dual VHF nav/com/LOC/GS, Mode S transponders, GPS and AHRS with air data computer and pilot static systems; active route moving map display; flight path predictor; VNAV; LNAV; ELT; data loader, health monitoring, and RVSM capability.